Jogging is new for Istanbul but it's gaining popularity – more morning and marathon runners appear in the streets. To cover your standard daily 5-6 km, run along the embankments. Our list offers the best routes to test your sneakers and weather.
Maybe it is one the most idyllic parts of the Asian side embankment stretching for miles. Endless sea, bike lane and lawns can pacify even the most stressed urban dwellers and make this place an ideal sunset watching spot. People strolling with kids and golden retrievers symbolize a very Californian vibe – relaxed and carefree. This is the place for cyclists, rollers, skaters and exotic flying disc players or jugglers. Walk forward to Fenerbahce, check the villas and beach cafes (locals don't swim in town except for poor family kids and crazy Europeans). Have a seat on the lawn or on big rocks by the water to enjoy the sea and the slow pace of life around.
If you are staying on the European Side, take a legendary Istanbul ferry to travel to Kadikoy Harbor. Disembark and take it to the right to a huge red-and-white hot air balloon. The beautiful embankment with stunning views is behind it. Admire the Historic Peninsula on the other side of Bosporus and a charming atmosphere of locals walking their dogs, guitar-playing students, joggers and snuggling couples. Walk to the end of the embankment and take steep stairs past residential homes down to the sea and Moda Harbor – now it is a café and welcomes tourists not ferries. If you are hungry, better go right, to the opposite side from the sea.
A beautiful park and a charming art nouveau building was constructed by Italian architects as the residence of the Egyptian ruler who relied on the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Today the first floor is taken by a restaurant and a cafe but you can walk around to see the interiors due to which it is a popular filming and wedding location. Took the big loop across the park – take from the very entrance to the right and finish by the mansion. On your way you will see a big waterfall, a spot with Bosporus view and lots of exotic birds and flowers. The place is indeed wonderful.
Istanbul's posh Bebek has plenty things to boast of including a splendid embankment overlooking Bosporus. You can walk or jog admiring yachts and boats parked along. So if you want to meet a couple of Turkish celebrities or run with trendy yuppies put your sneakers on, check the weather and let's run.
On paper, the forest is part of Istanbul but looks likes real wilderness. Discover a small lake, a dam and a kind of a botanical garden Ataturk Arboretumu. Their hiking trails are perfect all year round and loved by local fitness lovers and romance seekers.
If you are in Istanbul on business and are staying far from the historic center but close to exhibition halls and the airport, you'll love this part of the Bosporus embankment. It may not be so crowded and fancy looking but quite lengthy and spacious so you could watch giant ships docking. Misty morning is the perfect time to walk a couple of kilometers.